MONTGOMERY, Ala (WRBL)- Millions of dollars are headed to cities and counties to cover COVID-19 related cost. This comes after the legislature and governor approved the spending of federal CARES Act dollars.
City leaders say they have had to completely change the way they operate, out of safety concerns. They say many of the changes they made came with a hefty price.
Auburn’s Mayor Ron Anders says April and May have been financially tough months for his city due to coronavirus.
“We have certainly been impacted like everyone else, maybe even impacted more because some many of our population, I would say a third, are gone and that’s because the students went home,” said Anders.
Anders says they hope to make up the losses in the fall with football, but if not, this could be devastating for the city.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be of biblical proportions, but it’s going to be of significant proportions. It will take us a long time to recover if we were to not have home football games,” Anders said.
Anders says the city hasn’t had any lay-offs, but they’re not hiring.
Greg Cochran with Alabama League of Municipalities says this is a problem most cities in Alabama are facing.
“We are noticing drops in those revenue streams which effects the city’s budget and their ability to hire and provide services to our communities,” said Cochran.
But help is on the way for cites to cover COVID-19- related costs.
Cochran elaborated, “PPE to protect the employees and citizens, extended cost in hazard pay and paying for officer to work overtime.” The League of Municipalities says it is asking Congress to provide more federal funds for local governments.